Lyft Vs. Uber: The Battle for Business and Enterprise Customers
Uber and Lyft, which once functioned mostly as rides to the airport or safe ways to get home after a night out, have expanded into other major markets. The need for transportation has always existed. But with today’s technology, Lyft and Uber are being utilized by other companies to grow revenue and create more efficient communities.
Now, rideshare companies want to take you to the doctor and help businesses manage their travel logistics and expenses. As the two industry giants plant their logos on the windshields of more drivers’ cars, they go head-to-head for partnerships with health insurance providers and major corporations.
Uber and Lyft Look to Make Business Travel Better
Uber and Lyft both allow separate rider business profiles to make travel less stressful, and expenses easier to track. But transporting business professionals from the airport to the conference space is certainly not where these ride-hailing companies stop. Each platform offers customized options for businesses, their employees, and customers to help create a more enjoyable, efficient experience.
While Uber for Business and Lyft Business carry out their ongoing battle for the corporate travel market share, expense management software company Certify reports that Uber was the most expensed brand in 2017, with 9 percent of all expenses from 50 million expense reports from U.S. workers. Starbucks was second.
Lyft’s business platform has grown seventeenfold since the start of 2016, thanks to partnerships with the likes of Coach, Blue Cross and schools like the University of Southern California. However, Uber is still the market leader with joint ventures with large cities like San Francisco, where they develop new ride programs fairly often for rides to local landmarks, like baseball, football, and basketball stadiums.
Lyft Business Accounts
Lyft allows all riders to create personal and business profiles. This lets people keep their recreational rides separate from work-related trips and track their business expenses. They’ve also recently launched a rewards program that awards $5 in ride credits for every five business rides taken. Riders can receive up to $100 in ride credits every three months!
However, Lyft Business is separate from all that. It allows businesses to provide and manage rides for employees and customers. Thousands of organizations currently partner with Lyft Business, including Airbnb, Disney, and Hertz.
Lyft has even recently integrated Lyft Concierge into their Lyft Business program. The company started Lyft Concierge in 2016 to allow health care providers to schedule rides for their patients. Now, all businesses can use Lyft Concierge for their organization. This allows business managers to monitor employees in the field and keep better track of travel expenses.
Together, Lyft Business and Lyft Concierge allows for:
- Easy expensing: Save your people time and sanity with automatic expensing tools.
- Policy development: Lyft reports allow managers to take note of travel habits amongst employees and design travel guidelines based on what works best for the team.
- Payment Management: Businesses can control who has access to company charge accounts and simplify the payments through Lyft Business.
- Business efficiency: Run your business more efficiently by knowing when your travelers are on the road and when they’ll be available for meetings or other projects.
Uber for Business
Uber for Business is simlar to Lyft Business. It allows organizations to set up rides for employees or clients, view all of your trip activity, and manage billing with the Uber for Business platform.
- Easier billing: Instead of having a pile of Uber receipts on your desk, Uber for Business allows managers to handle all rides in one place. Select the payment method that best fits the company’s needs and never deal with individual expensing and paper trails again.
- Big-picture view: From the Uber platform, you can see all ride features, like trip times, vehicle styles, and total expenses. Generate reports and monitor the company’s travel activity from one dashboard.
- Set guidelines: Add your team members to the Uber business account and manage the settings to avoid out-of-policy rides. You can customize rules to specify the vehicle class allowed and spending allowance.
While Uber has the majority of the business traveler market, holding on to 74 percent of the overall market compared with Lyft’s 19 percent and 7 percent for taxis, research shows Lyft is growing in popularity.
According to a new study by Certify, which tracks business expenses, Lyft gained 8 percent in market share in the second quarter of 2018. Certify looked at 10 million business travel receipts and expenses in North America. In that same time, Uber dwindled by 3 percent and taxi-hailing dropped 5 percent.
Lyft hopes to keep the momentum going. However, Lyft’s growth must also overcome the higher tabs raked in by Uber. Business travelers spend more money per ride on Uber than on Lyft. In Q2 of this year, the average Uber tab was $26 compared to the $22.37 spent with Lyft.
Feeling Ill? Call Uber or Lyft
The next time you need a ride to the doctor, Uber and Lyft will both be vying for your trip. The ridesharing companies have delved into the healthcare business, attempting to derive revenue from the 3.6 million people who miss medical appointments each year. Instead of a medical transport van or taxi, non-emergency patients may be offered a Lyft or Uber ride provided by the health facility.
This push into the health industry is one of the latest ways the two rideshare giants are attempting to integrate into pre-existing transportation routes. And health care professionals are buying in. The affordable, direct transport of patients through Uber or Lyft allows medical facilities to track a patient’s route in real-time. In 2013, Medicare and Medicaid spent $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, for non-emergency health care transportation, with many regions expecting medical transport costs to rise. Utilizing rideshare companies offers a lower cost option for getting patients to the facilities.
Benefits to Health Care Facilities Utilizing Uber or Lyft
- Rideshare platforms reduce medical fraud and waste since the tracking is more precise than traditional paper receipts.
- They also help reduce no-show rates, which vary depending on the specialty, but run at roughly 20 percent for primary care.
- There is also less emergency room crowding, as more patients have access to preventative care with a primary doctor.
The healthcare industry’s use of Uber and Lyft doesn’t stop with treatment facilities. Blue Cross announced earlier this year that participating Blue Cross plans would offer a “no cost” ride for patients to pick up medication. Lyft’s partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS Health allows customers in certain markets to get a Lyft ride to the pharmacy.
Both companies operate under the mindset that transportation shouldn’t be the obstacle that stops someone from seeing the doctor.
How Does Uber Health Work?
Uber Health is HIPAA compliant and aimed specifically at healthcare providers — clinics, hospitals, and rehab centers — that need to assign rides for their patients and decrease missed appointments. Because the rideshare venture is often focused in rural communities, the rider doesn’t need the Uber app, or even a smartphone, to get a ride. Through a simple web dashboard:
- The healthcare manager inputs the client’s name, number, and pick-up and drop-off locations.
- The facility chooses a vehicle type from Uber’s ride options.
- The patient receives a text message confirming the facility has booked a ride for them.
- The patient can click the link to see who will pick them up, a contact number, and a map to view the Uber driver’s location.
How Does Lyft Healthcare Work?
Lyft Healthcare is HIPAA compliant and offered through the rideshare company’s Lyft Concierge platform. Medical providers can schedule or call rides for clients. The riders do not even have to have the app or a smartphone to get a ride to or from the doctor. Using the Lyft Concierge dashboard:
- Healthcare organizations integrate the Lyft Concierge into their own systems.
- Organizations develop custom pickup and drop-off zones for large hospital campuses and medical offices (through a new partnership with American Logistics Company).
- The healthcare manager can schedule individual rides for patients.
- The patient receives a text message confirming the facility has booked a ride for them.
Typically, the healthcare organization covers the cost of the ride or the expense is billed to Medicaid or Medicare.
As Lyft and Uber explore new avenues in healthcare and corporate travel, the demand for more convenient, on-demand forms of transportation continues to grow. Both companies offer services and innovation many find superior to that of alternative transportation options, making them the go-to for many businesses, at least for the immediate future.